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Course Highlights:

How the mind and emotions affect the body | Why labor hurts and why it doesn't have to | Releasing fear the enemy of labor | Preparing your mind and body for birthing | Avoiding artificial induction and episiotomies | Developing ultimate depth relaxation | Understanding the stages of labor | Preparing your Birth Plan | Tapping Nature's own relaxant | Breathing your baby down for birth

Class Content »

Home Birthing Plans, Preferences and Options

The most important aspect of planning a birth is choosing a care provider (doctor or midwife) who shares your beliefs about birth. If you believe birth is a normal, natural, safe process you need to choose a provider who believes the same (and acts that way). Actions really do speak louder than words. If your provider is not supportive of your birth preferences, switch to a provider who is! It's never too late to switch unless the baby has been born. I know that the idea of switching providers may seem scary or might even feel disloyal to the provider that you've been seeing. Don't let this prevent you from making the choices you need to make in order to have the safest, best birth for yourself and your baby. Your baby gets one birth. Make it a good one.

This plan was designed for a homebirth. Circle your preferences. If your first choice is not listed, please write it in. Remember, this is your birth, not your doctor's or midwife's. You have the right to have the birth the way you want it. Discuss your birth preferences (in detail) with your health care provider.

Nevada Statistics on C-sec, VBAC and many more peri-stats

Back to Birth Plans and Preferences

Informed Consent Questions (what to ask to make sure an intervention is really needed)

Sample Finished Home Birth Plan

Home Birth Preferences Worksheet

(links will pop open in a new window)

Mother's Name:

Birth Attendant's Name:

Doula's Name:

Childcare person's Name:


Mobility (To learn the benefits of changing position during labor click here.)

Monitoring (To learn why a baby's heart rate is monitored, click here. You do not have to be monitored continuously. To learn more about intermittent monitoring click here. To learn about internal and external monitoring, click here. To read about a study showing that continuous fetal monitoring does not improve fetal outcome, click here.)

I would like my baby's heartrate to be monitored using a:

I would prefer that my baby's heartrate be monitored:


Vaginal Exams (To learn more about the risks and benefits of vaginal exams, click here and here. An experienced birth attendant can assess the progress of your labor without vaginal exams.)

Food and Drink (Click here to learn more about what you can safely eat and drink during labor.)

  • Please be considerate with your food and drink. I may be sensitive to smells so, I may ask you to eat certain foods away from me.
  • Please have a plan for a meal immediately after birth. I am likely to be hungry. If I give birth in the middle of the night, I will still need to eat afterward. During my labor, please send someone to get the following meal for me to eat after I birth.
  • Food:
  • From:
  • Phone:
  • Labor Augmentation and Induction

    • I want to avoid induction unless it is medically necessary.
    • If induction becomes necessary, I want to use natural methods, regular position changes, and/or herbs to induce/augment labor. (For a list of optimal labor and birthing positions, click here. For a list of natural induction methods, click here.)
    • I want to have my membranes stripped (To learn more about the risks and benefits of stripping your membranes, click here.)
    • I want to keep my bag of waters intact.

    Comfort Measures during Early and Active labor (For more information on ways to cope with labor naturally, click here.)

    • I want to use the following comfort measures:
    1. relaxation
    2. massage
    3. meditation
    4. visualization
    5. Water Therapy (Shower or Tub)
    6. HypnoBirthing® (self-hypnosis or guided relaxation)
    7. birth ball or rocking chair
    8. distraction (an activity such as baking bread or scrapbooking to keep your mind off your body during early labor)

      Comfort Measures for the Second Stage Labor (Pushing)

      • I want to have the freedom to change positions and use natural comfort measure techniques.
      • I want to adopt whatever position my body tells me is best.
      • I may want to try one or more of the following:
    9. a birthing chair/stool or the toilet.
    10. a birth ball. (What is a birth ball? Click here.)
    11. a birth tub.
    12. a supported position such as a supported squat.
    13. hands and knees.
    14. kneeling.
    15. side-lying.
    16. other:
    17. Delivery (For more information on different birthing positions click here.)

      • I want to choose the position I birth in (whatever feels right at the time).
      • I want to catch/receive my own baby.
      • I want my partner to catch/receive our baby.

      Perineal Care (For information on episiotomies, click here.)

      • I would prefer not to have an episiotomy unless absolutely required for the baby's safety. Please use warm compress and perineal massage to avoid an episiotomy. (For more information on perineal massage, click here.)
      • I don't want to be told when and how to push. I trust my body to tell me when and how not to push. (For more information on breathe-down explusive pushing, click here.)
      • I do want to be told when not to push to allow my perineum to stretch.
      • I want to be told when and how to push. (For more information on purple pushing i.e. holding your breath to push click here.)
      • I prefer to tear over having a episiotomy.
      • I want an episiotomy.

      Third Stage (delivery of the placenta) (For more information on managed vs. natural approach to the third stage click here.)

      • I prefer to have no time constraints on the delivery of the placenta.
      • I prefer to push the placenta out.
      • I prefer to breastfeed my infant immediately to stimulate uterine contractions and would like to avoid a shot of pitocin unless it is absolutely necessary.
      • I prefer to leave the umbilical cord unclamped and uncut until the placenta is delivered. (For more information on delayed cord clamping click here.)
      • I prefer a lotus birth (the placenta and cord remain attached to the baby until they dry up and fall off on their own). (For more information on lotus birth click here.)
      • I would like to cut the cord.
      • I would like my partner to cut the cord.
      • I would like to keep the placenta. (For more information on placenta encapsulation click here.)

      After Birth Procedures (For more information on after birth procedures click here.)

      • I would like to be cleaned up and tucked into bed with my baby as soon as possible.
      • I would like to take a shower before going to bed.
      • I prefer that my baby not receive the following procedures (circled):
      1. eye drops (For more information on eye prophylaxis, click here.)
      2. Vitamin K shot (For more information on Vitamin K, click here.)
      3. Hepatitis B vaccination (For more information on Hepatitis B Vaccination, click here.)
      4. PKU/Metabolic screening test (For more information on PKU testing, click here.)
      • I prefer that my baby have a dose of oral Vitamin K instead of a Vitamin K shot.
      • I would like to bathe my baby.
      • I would like my baby to be bathed in my presence.
      • I would like my baby to have a Leboyer bath.
      • I prefer that my baby be sponge-bathed.
      • I prefer that my baby not be bathed.
      • I would rather have the vernix (if any) rubbed into my baby's skin than have it be wiped off.
      • I would like the following people to help me during the postpartum period:
    18. Name:
    19. Phone:
    20. Tasks (housekeeping, childcared, companionship, etc.):
    21. Time Period (right after the birth, first week, second week, etc.):
    22. Name:
    23. Phone:
    24. Tasks:
    25. Time period:
      • If I have a son, I prefer that he not be circumcised. (For more information on circumcision, including care of the intact penis and post-operative care for a circumcised penis as well as pain management during and after the surgery, click here.)

      Informed Consent Questions (what to ask to make sure an intervention is really needed)

      Here is a list of questions to ask when interventions or unplanned procedures are proposed at any point during your pregnancy or the birth of your child:

      • Is this an emergency or do we have time to talk?
      • What are the benefits of doing this?
      • What are the risks of doing this?
      • If we do this, what other procedures or treatments might we need as a result?
      • What else can we try first or instead?
      • What would happen if we waited before doing this?
      • What would happen if we didn? t do this at all?

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      Birth Preference Plan for Xxxxx Xxxxxx

      Spouse: Xxxxx Xxxxxx

      Doula: Xxx Xxxxxx

      Midwife: Xxxxx Xxxxxxx

      Thanks for being part of our baby's birth. I've written down my birth preferences because it will be difficult for me to relay all of this information to you while I am preoccupied with my labor. I'll be using the HypnoBirthing® childbirth method which requires a relaxed environment. I used HypnoBirthing with my second baby with excellent results and in the absence of special circumstances I imagine this baby's birth will go just as well or better. I'll probably have music playing which will help to relax me and remind everyone else to stay calm and quiet. These are my preferences assuming my baby and I are experiencing a normal labor and birth.

      General Requests

      Because I'm using hypnosis, it's important for everyone to avoid use of the word "pain". You may ask me my comfort level or what sensations I'm experiencing if you are curious. Helpful things to say would be "release and relax" and "open for your baby". I'll probably describe my surges as "tightening" or "pressure".

      Because I am using hypnosis please postpone asking me questions or talking to me while I am having a surge (contraction). I will have my eyes closed during a surge, but between surges I will open my eyes and be available for conversation. It is likely that I will not hear you while having a surge anyway. Thank you for using a calm, quiet voice and entering the room as quietly as possible in order to maintain the air of relaxation.

      Labor Requests

      I'm not crazy about vaginal exams. I might not want any. We'll see how I feel.

      If I'm hungry. I'll probably prefer fruit or fruit smoothies. It's Xxxx's job to make them (favorite recipe: orange juice, frozen strawberries, and a banana). I may also enjoy yougurt or toast with a little bit of butter.

      Please remind me that I can get in my own tub if the birth tub is taking a long time to fill.

      Pictures! Remind Xxxx (or whoever he delegates to if he's helping me) to take lots and lots of pictures. I didn't get any last time and wish that I had. It's a digital camera so we can easily delete any pictures we don't like or that are too graphic or whatever.

      I also want video of my labor and the birth. We can edit the length later. Remind Xxxx to get lots of footage.

      Second and Third Stage Requests

      I'd like to receive my own baby. That may change (remind me and then jump in if it looks like I'm not or ask my partner as he will likely want to if I don't).

      Please refrain from any coaching to hold my breath while I am birthing my baby. I'll be using the HypnoBirthing breathing down technique rather than holding my breath and pushing. Please remind me to keep it slow by saying "listen to your body" and 'breathe your baby down" and "open for your baby" and "give all your energy to your baby".

      Please remind me to slow things down as the baby is crowning by saying "listen to your perineum". My perineum may be saying something different from my body. I'd prefer not to tear even if it means taking a bit longer to get the baby out, so if there's a conflict between what my body ("get it out!") and perineum are saying, I want my perineum to win.

      Please wait for Xxxx and me to greet our baby before anyone speaks.

      Please wait to clamp the cord until it has stopped pulsating, or possibly until the placenta has been birthed.

      Let's use hypnosis for birthing the placenta. Say "allow the placenta to slide completely and easily down your birth path; your uterus will continue to surge as this happens".

      Remind me that I can use manual nipple stimulation if the baby isn't interested.

      We want to save the placenta for encapsulation.

      After the Birth/Baby Requests

      We'd like to delay cleaning, measuring, and weighing until after bonding for a while and after we've initiated breastfeeding. If I require a repair I may have my husband hold the baby.

      We will be skipping the vitamin K injection. If we have a son, we will not be circumcising. Thank you for not attempting to retract or manipulate his foreskin. No Hepatitis B vaccination or eye drops for us.

      We'd like to do the PKU at 5 days.

      Thank you for making this a positive experience!

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